Strategic Foresight: Determining Patent Trends in Additive Manufacturing

Marisela Rodríguez Salvador, Paola Cruz Zamudio, Andrés Santiago Avila Carrasco, Elías Olivares Benítez, Beatriz Arellano Bautista

Abstract


Additive manufacturing is an emerging technology that brings several opportunities to the manufacturing industry. Therefore, research in this arena on current and future developments is required to make strategic decisions. Under this context, the goal of this research is to develop a patent analysis on additive manufacturing. Keyword-patent analysis is performed to identify the most important organizations, countries, inventors, and technology areas through International Patent Classifications (IPCs) of the additive manufacturing industry. Results show that there is an increase on additive manufacturing research, particularly in 2013 and 2014. The main areas of research are focused on shaping of plastics and after-treatment of shaped products and working metallic powder and manufacture articles from this material. Moreover, the analysis indicates that leading countries on additive manufacturing research are United States, Great Britain and Switzerland. Additionally, top three companies on this area are: Stratasys Inc. (USA), United Technologies Corp. (USA) and Alstom Technology LTD (Switzerland). Its recent research inventions were identified in this study. The main contribution of this research is to offer a template for analysis in other industries, but it also brings valuable insights to decision makers interested in recent patent efforts developed for the advancement of additive manufacturing.

 


Keywords


Strategic foresight, foresight, patent analysis, additive manufacturing

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